Just in case there was any lingering doubt about the new paint on Cherry…
To motorists who know little about bicycling, it teaches them that the gutter is the appropriate place to ride a bicycle — out of the way of the real street users who drive cars. It teaches that bicyclists are second-class street users.
To the novice bicyclist, it teaches that riding far to the right — in the gutter, along a seam, and on an uneven plane with nowhere to maneuver — is safe. The city wouldn’t put novices in danger, right? So this must be safe.
To people like me, well, it teaches that something awful is happening in Springfield — we competent and confident bicyclists (not stereotypical road warriors) may be losing our rights to the streets as motorists learn the wrong lesson and, perhaps, politicians codify our marginalization through “must use” laws.
It will be interesting to see what effect these lanes have. So far, most of the recently-added lanes have been outside the urban core (exceptions on Grant and Fremont). Will participation increase? Or, more cynically, will the city enjoy moving up to silver bicycle-friendly community status because the League of American Bicyclists loves paint — any kind of paint?
My thanks to local bicycling dude Jim Phillips for allowing me to use his photo!
UPDATE: The chatter continues on the Bicycle Friendly Springfield group on Facebook. No one is defending this lane.
UPDATE: There’s a post on the BFS group saying there are new lanes on Bennett east of Glenstone. I’ll get over there to check asap.